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<   No. 6   2003-01-23   >

Comic #6

1 Me: Okay, Marty, prepare to be annihilated!
2 Yahoo: {Literati screen, a Scrabble-like game} ***71 points awarded to Marty. 'deciduas'. (1+1+1+1+1+1+1x2)(2+2). 35 point bingo bonus.
3 dmmaus: Oh, good word!
4 Me: {consulting dictionary with boggled look}

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2011-11-05 Rerun commentary: This strip appeared after the longest hiatus in IWC's publication history, a full 14 days after strip #5. At this point it wasn't at all clear that I would keep making comics.

At the time I was playing a lot of Literati, a Scrabble-clone playable online through Yahoo! Games. Marty is the pseudonym of one of my regular opponents (and a person who would later contribute several gags and punchlines to IWC). This is a screenshot of an actual game we were playing, in which Marty established a commanding lead with a 35-point bingo bonus by playing the word DECIDUAS. My reaction in real life was very much the same as shown in this comic. At the time I'd never heard of this word, and - after hiding my seething resentment by gritting my teeth and complimenting Marty on this fantastic play - I looked it up, to discover it meant something completely different to what I'd guessed. I've never forgotten the meaning of this word again, and one day... oh yes, one day... I will play it against an equally astonished opponent. Most likely in Words With Friends, the iPad/iPhone app successor to Literati.

Several readers at the time didn't quite understand exactly what the joke was in this strip. It's meant to be Me pretending to know what the word means and complimenting my worthy opponent, then sneaking away (unbeknownst to my online opponent) to quickly look it up in the dictionary in puzzlement. Some people took it as Me assuming it was a spelling error for DECIDUOUS and discovering to my astonishment that it wasn't. Some people took it as my astonishment and horrified reaction to discovering what the word meant. All up, not a great strip. Thankfully I moved on from using board games as inspiration for my comics. (And used roleplaying games instead... Much better!)

The dictionary is a copy of the full-sized edition of the Macquarie Dictionary, the standard dictionary for Australian English. It still sits in my bookcase, handily positioned so I can reach it without moving from the computer while writing. Even now with so much information easily accessible online, I find a large printed dictionary invaluable.

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
My blogs: (daily updates) | 100 Proofs that the Earth is a Globe (science!) | Carpe DMM (long form posts) | Snot Block & Roll (food reviews)
More comics I host: The Prisoner of Monty Hall | Lightning Made of Owls | Square Root of Minus Garfield | iToons | Comments on a Postcard | Awkward Fumbles
Last Modified: Thursday, 19 January 2012; 00:38:57 PST.
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